Facebook Inc. said on Monday that it will launch a satellite in partnership with France’s Eutelsat Communications to provide Internet coverage to large parts of sub-Saharan Africa.
The companies will tap the Amos-6 satellite, which is expected to be launched in 2016, to bring Internet access to 14 African nations from the second half of next year, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The Amos-6, which is being built by Spacecom, will cover large parts of west, east and southern Africa, including South Africa, Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya.
The partnership is part of Facebook’s Internet.org initiative to extend Internet access to many areas of the developing world where it isn’t now available.
“To connect people living in remote regions, traditional connectivity infrastructure is often difficult and inefficient, so we need to invent new technologies,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post.
Facebook and Eutelsat are said to have a multiyear agreement with Spacecom to use Amos-6’s broadband capacity.
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